Shop ‘Til You Drop

By Mallory Rabold

80s2Close your eyes for me and imagine you are sitting in your room; you are getting ready to hit the mall with your friends. You put on your off the shoulder sweater and acid wash jeans. There is the scent of your hairspray still lingering in the air as you apply your bright make up. MTV is on in the background playing Michael Jackson and Madonna music videos. While I know it’s hard to believe but there is more to the 80’s than their clothing. The people of the 80’s were status seekers whose motto was “If you got it flaunt it”. Businesses grew to new sizes and mergers of companies created billionaires.  Double- digit inflation was in effect, and unemployment was on the rise. Ronald Regan declared a war on drugs, and we lost many talented people to the AIDs epidemic. (1980-1989)

80s1When people think of movies from the 80’s they think of one name, John Hughes. With hits like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Hughes captured and put his own stamp on teenagers of the 80’s. Through his writing and producing he was able to catch the combination of romance and indifference, conformity and rebellion that marked the first American generation to grow up in a consumer culture.  Other movies that influenced the 80’s were Flashdance, Fame, and Staying Alive, which created a dance craze. So much so that leotards, leggings, legwarmers, and headbands were regularly worn as street wear.

80s4MTV network premiered in 1981 and radically changed the music industry. Robert Pitman felt that 80’s teens were ignored as radio stations refused to give airtime to New Wave, Punk, and Heavy Metal artists. Music became important in movies as well as in TV shows. In the popular 80’s series, Miami Vice, the soundtrack became a best seller. Many people claimed the show sacrificed plot for visual impact. Director Lee Katkin didn’t deny it. “The show is written for an MTV audience,” he told Time, “which is more interested in images, emotions and energy than plot and character.” Music was also revived by the booming aerobic dance craze. The CEO of Jazzercise in 1982 says that coupling the music with the movement makes working out fun.  If only it were that easy.

80s3With the first woman on the Supreme Court and woman in space, the tone for women in the 80’s was that they could do anything. This gave way to power dressing, which involved shoulder pads and structured and tailored clothing. Shows like Dynasty and Dallas influenced the fashion of the time. These soap opera dramas featured glamorous and opulent clothing and accessories. Styles from these shows filtered down into mainstream fashion and resulted in costume jewelry worn both day and night and sequins and beading were put on clothing to symbolize wealth.  The fashions of this time went a long with the dominating attitude of the time, conspicuous opulence. Which is why the 80’s has been dubbed the decade of greed.     


Works Cited 

Buchalter, G. (1982, July 26). Aerobic Dance. Fitness : Retrieved February 17,         2014, from

Gleiberman, O. (2009, August 6). John Hughes: We were all in his club. Retrieved         February 17, 2014, from            all-in-his-club/

Manning, J. (n.d.). MTV, Madonna and Miami Vice. The 80’s Club. Retrieved February 17,          2014, from

McKenzie, R. (2004, June 10). Richard McKenzie on Real Reagan Record on National Review    Online. Richard McKenzie on Real Reagan Record on National Review Online. Retrieved    February 17, 2014, from

Weston-Thomas, P. (n.d.). Power Dressing1980s Fashion History. 1980s Fashion History.             Retrieved February 17, 2014, from

1980-1989. (n.d.). American Cultural History. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from   

The Good ol’ Days

By Haley Davis

90s1 Fresh Prince and the “Rachel,” just some things that come to mind when we think of the 1990s. Most of us were little kids during this decade and if you are like me they remind me of the good ol’ days of our childhood. The days of sitcoms, sugar pop music, and those horrible outfits our parents made us wear. You know the ones; we all use them for throwback Thursday.

The 90s had a lot of dominating events. From Bill Clinton having his famous “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” affair. Thanks Ken Starr. The cold war ended. The country had the first school shooting with Columbine. And who could forget the world panic of Y2K.

90s4You cannot talk about the 90s without mentioning technology. This decade was a defining moment for technology in our society. There were VHS, beepers, mobile phone (they still felt like a brick), and computers became a staple in the home. I still remember when my parents got our first computer. I was 5, and so excited to play Barbie Fashion Design. In the 90s, Yahoo, EBay, Amazon and Google where all created. Television exploded with Satellite with more channels and many new 90s5sitcoms and teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek and Beverly Hills 90210.  Movies like Titanic blew up the box office. And Disney movies ruled the children’s movies. Especially, Toy Story which was the first computer animated movie.

Oh the fashion of the 90s. Denim was huge. Especially washed out and colored. At the beginning of the decade pants were worn high waisted, by the end they were worn at the hips. The 70s preppy look was in. With short shirts and dresses, and flowery patterns. Also, the chunky 90s3heel was in. Movies like Clueless are a prefect example of this style.

But not everyone in the 90s was preppy. There was also the trend of grudge. After the 80s full of bright, loud colors, people decided to wear more naturals, and deep colors. Plaids and flannels were in. People wore baggy, oversized clothes, Tattoos and piercing became a trend. The body type was known as heroine chic. No better example is model Kate Moss, meaning women wanted to be super skinny, with no curves.

I believe the 90s are coming back in a way for fashion, with all the flower prints, color denim and high waisted. We are also going for the grudge 90s2trend when we look at our today hipsters. Technology played a huge role in people’s attitudes and perceptions during this decade. It was in a way the first time the middle class person was using technology on a daily basis. The 90s were the beginning of the transition to a new century. They reflected on previous decades for fashion ideas, but looked ahead at what the new millennium could bring. This decade helped launch us forward with technology to help our advances today. And with more access to information through technology it has forever influenced us.



(2013). CLUELESS MAKES A COMEBACK [Web Photo]. Retrieved from (Clueless)

(2013, April 1). ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Style Lessons Courtesy Of Donna, Dylan And The Rest Of The Gang (PHOTOS) [Web Photo]. Retrieved from (Beverly Hills 90210)

2013, May 11). Famous style: McMillan gave Jennifer Aniston the haircut in 1994 to play Rachel Green in the TV series Friends, after which it is was copied by fans the world over [Web Photo]. Retrieved from (Jennifer Aniston)

(2013, June 27). Part Two: The Totally Sweet (Late)’90s [Web Photo]. Retrieved from (Technology)

(2012, September 11). DON’T MESS WITH THE BOSS, KATE MOSS. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from (Kate Moss)

Brown, K. (2013, October 14). Mapping the zeitgeist : 1990s. Retrieved from

A Backwards Fairytale


By Ashley Gross


Who doesn’t love a good Audrey Hepburn movie? More over, who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn playing a 1950s version of Princess Jasmine? Princess Ann just wants to escape the pressures of being royalty and experience the simpler life. One meltdown and a few sedatives later, she finds herself out in the streets of Rome and spending the night with handsome Joe Bradley. Completely risqué for 1953. Unfortunately, although dashing and charming, Mr. Bradley has his own agenda of turning Ann into a news story. He takes Ann all over Rome to do everything she wants: a day of gelato, dancing, and riding a moped through all the sites. fairytaile1As goes any fairytale though, Mr. Bradley can’t help but fall for the princess and can’t go through with selling his insider story. Ann eventually decides to return to her life, but not without one passionate kiss. Although they don’t end up happily ever after, they get a chance to exchange a few words at a press conference before going back to their own lives. 

One of the most prominent scenes is when she cuts her hair short, really short. Ann embraced a whole new sense of style in Roman Holiday, from shorter hair to restyling her clothes. At the beginning of the movie you see the traditional conservative and elegant dress of someone of high social standing, but later she has rolled up sleeves, a flowing circle skirt, and flat “gladiator” sandals. This was the look of Roman Holiday. Before she put on sandals there was a scene that demonstrated the pain of standing in high heels for a long period of time, something that I know all girls can still relate to today.

fairytale2Although the look is stylized in a way that is clearly 1950s, we still see some of Audrey’s iconic looks from this movie today. Strappy “gladiator” sandals remain a popular choice for those summer days. Dior, Dolce & Gabanna, Givenchy, and Balmain are just a few who put some down the runway. Not to mention how many different styles and ways that you can wear a white shirt these days. Sure, all Audrey Hepburn had to do was roll up the sleeves and she was insta-cool, but now it’s all about how you can make it your own. Even circle skirts have made a comeback. They just make you want to spin around, or hop on a moped with the first hot guy you find in Rome. The iconic Roman Holiday look is classic, not trendy. We relate to that flirty casual look, just like we relate to Princess Ann wanting to have just one day of fun. Princesses are just like us anyway right?


Accessories: balmain. (2013). Vogue Collections, 17, Sandals image.

IMDB. (2013). Roman holiday. Retrieved from Images from movie.

Wyler, W. (Director) (1953). Roman holiday [DVD].

Young , D. (2013). The classic white blouse. Retrieved from Image of white button down.

Belle de Jour

By Courtney Carlson

Belle de Jour, the 1967 French movie, is commonly known as the most enticing erotic movie in history, so be prepared my Baptist friends, this movie sure isn’t “Frozen”. Belle de Jour is French for “Lady of the Day.” Our lovely lady in the movie is Severine, the wife of a surgeon. However, our sweet Severine has a secret – she works at a brothel while her hubby is at work because she can’t bring herself to be intimate with him. Did y’all get that? She is a harlet during the day and completely chaste with her own husband at night. I mean, to each her own, right?

belle de jour 1

I’m leaving out most of the plot here for two reasons: 1. It’s incredibly interesting and you need to watch it yourself, and 2. The fact that I don’t speak French and could only find part of it with subtitles kind of hinders my understanding. BUT, the fashion is stunning. One of my favorite fashion choices includes when Severine sports a PERFECT red coat. While the length of the coat isn’t particularly popular anymore, the style of the buttons, collar, and shape are absolutely accepted and loved in today’s society. It is quite literally perfect, y’all. And there’s more. Maybe I just adore fashion that is influenced by the 60’s **hint: I do**, but Severine’s outfits in this movie are everything. Her long black trench coat is something that I would regularly see on the streets of New York today…and not just on the ladies of the night. The shape, color, neckline, button structure, and hidden side pockets are all common elements in a long coat today.

belle de jour 2

My third favorite style choice in this movie is a look that myself and most of the people that I know still rock today. Our favorite two-faced lady is seen wearing a white collared shirt with a black pull-over sweater with a big ole bun on her head. While in the movie, she is wearing a sweater dress rather than a short sweater with pants, the look and style of the outfit is almost identical to what we would wear today. Celebrities such as Emma Watson have been seen wearing similar outfits in the public eye, so it is still relevant. These looks are still relevant in the use of 1960’s-inspired clean line and box-shaped outerwear. For example, the first actresses that come to mind are Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez. These names together may sound really random, but they are both often seen in the exact style of coat as Severine wears in Belle de Jour. I didn’t even have to use google to find celebs that are still wearing these looks…they are literally so common that I could picture them right away. 1960’s French movie about a daytime-only prostitute? Still relevant, my friends.

belle de jour 3


            “Belle de Jour.” HipParis. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. <;.

            “belledejour.” blogspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. <



Now We Know Who Wears the Pants: The Philadelphia Story

By Rachel Dean

philadelphia story1How could you go wrong with a cast like Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant? You can’t. The Philadelphia story is the perfect romantic comedy of its time. In the 1940s classic, Hepburn’s character divorces Cary’s only to be reunited two years later as she’s planning her second wedding. Cary’s character, Dexter, is determined to give the socialite a taste of hell by exposing her wedding plans to the media. Through some frazzle, confusion, and a few cocktails, Hepburn’s character, Tracy, woke up convinced she’d slept with James Stewart’s character. After telling her new fiancé, they ended their engagement. But the wedding still went on. In a twist of events, Cary becomes Hepburn’s groom once more.

Designed by the American designer, Adrian, Katharine’s wardrobe for the film isn’t one easily forgotten. Besides totally repping feminist women everywhere by pioneering wearing pants on screen in 1940, she looked hot doing it. When a man told her he preferred women in skirts she responded with, “Try it. Try one on. See if you like it.”  Her big belts and even bigger shoulder pads gave her outfits a bold, structured look simply adding on to her bold personality. Of course throwing out words like “pants” and “structured” can make thephiladelphia story 2 clothes seem pretty masculine to the simple minded, thankfully us fashion majors are here to remind you this is hardly the case. Each piece had an extreme elegance and feminine quality to it while still maintaining a bit of an androgynous feel. Can you say power suit? Even in the horseback riding scene she looks like she’s straight out of a Ralph Lauren advertisement. And we can’t forget about her iconic gold and white gown that every girl and their mother envies. It’s the epitome of class and sass, just like Miss Hepburn.

philadelphia story 3Hepburn’s brave decision to wear trousers is one we’re all eternally thankful for. Especially since it was 30 degrees yesterday and someone must be crazy to go out into that while wearing a skirt. Katharine has had such an impact in the fashion industry that in 2012 New York City had an exhibition dedicated only to her style. That’s the American dream. To dress so well that one-day someone puts your clothes on display and people pay money just to look at them. That, and also that Chic-fil-a would be open on Sundays. But these are pipe dreams for people like us. But for the movers and shakers like Katharine Hepburn, it’s just another day.

Her influence is still seen today. Not just in film, but in fashion. With her forward thinking, she led the way for button up shirts, trousers, loafers, and blazers. She dressed like a boss, because she’s a boss. She ran around “recklessly “with no make up and men’s clothing only to be dubbed one of the most gorgeous and stylish women in history. It’s clear who wears the pants in this situation.

philadelphia story 4


Filmsite Movie Review, The Philadelphia Story. Retrieved on February 10, 2014 from

Bette, 2011. Ten Reasons to Love The Philadelphia Story. Retrieved on February 10, 2014 from

The 15 Most Influential Style Icons of All Time. Retrieved on February 10, 2014 from


By Courtney Carlson

escada2When I think of fashion houses changing with the times, Escada, the Munich-born fashion house from the mid-70’s, comes to mind. It was founded in Germany and the name of the company comes from a horse the founders bet on (and won with) at a horse race, so it sounds pretty cool to me. Escada was founded by Margaretha and Wolfgang Lay, in Munich, Germany. It’s kind of fitting that a company who is named after a horse is a sportswear company, right? The women’s brand was introduced to the European market in 1978, but they didn’t hit the US market until a few years later in 1982. Margaretha was an overachiever, as she was not only the co-founder, but the chief designer as well. She was known for designing bold, colorful luxury sportswear. She claims that her bold color choices were inspired by her childhood in Sweden.

escada5Margaretha was born in Sweden, and later travelled around Europe with major modeling jobs. She was able to work with the royal tailor in Sweden and later the German brand, Mondi. From these later experiences, she was able to learn about designing and clothing production. She married Wolfgang when she was 37 and he was 36, and they soon decided to start their fashion house. Although they technically worked together, Escada had two separate corporate buildings…one for design and one for finances. So they practically never saw each other, which could be for the best. Margaretha worked closely with her brand as chief designer until her death at the age of 56.

escada3Luxury sportswear is kind of a fun specialty. It’s for the wealthy woman that wants to be comfortable while she looks chic. Escada didn’t have only one special item, they could dress the woman from head to toe. Michael Stolzenburg took over the designing aspect of the company after Margaretha’s death, but died at the age of 36 after only two years working for Escada. As years and designers have passed and designs have evolved, Escada’s look has become modern and sleek. In 1990, Escada debuted their first perfume, just two years before Margaretha’s death. Since that escada1initial perfume, Escada has been putting many perfumes on the market each year, and perfume has become one of the most relevant aspects of their brand.

In late 2012, Daniel Wingate was promoted into the role of chief designer for Escada. His designs mirror the originals in that he has put a lot of emphasis on color and bold designs. He wants his designs to be for independent women who desire quality fabrics, colors, and designs. He aims to design for women similar to the owner of the brand, who is 36 year old Megha Mittal. Recent designs have been modern and fun. Escada dresses the Princess of Sweden often, which is pretty awesome, in my opinion. This German fashion house is true to itself and isn’t going anywhere. 


Escada. (n.d.). Fashion brands. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from

Moda and Destilo. (n.d.). Chatting with Escada. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from

Our History | ESCADA. (n.d.). Our History | ESCADA. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from 

Schiro, A. (1992, June 9). Margaretha Ley, Chief Designer Of Sportswear Company, Is Dead. The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from

Worn by the World’s Most Sophisticated Women

By Haley Davis

Givenchy3The little black dress, a fashion staple in any woman’s closet. This dress was made a classic and fashion must because of the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” when it was worn by Audrey Hepburn. Many think that Chanel designed the dress. But, French fashion house Givenchy created this iconic dress. Chanel just helped popularize the trend.

Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy was born in France on February 27, 1927 and is still alive today. He displayed his first collection in 1952. He was the youngest designer in Paris and was very good looking.

His first collection was based on separates so a woman could mix and match her outfit. This allowed a woman to show her own personal style. The 1950s and 1960s were the golden years for Givenchy. During these decades he introduced the world to the sack dress. He also pioneered the Givenchy1princess silhouette, where a dress would come in at the waist and then have a fuller skit. This is now a very popular silhouette for wedding gowns. And thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s Little Black Dress, he became know for the Sabrina neckline.

Givenchy said that the point of dressing a woman was to make her more beautiful. In the 1970s and 1980s, Givenchy stuck with designs and shapes he knew and was often not thought to go with the trends of the decades. But Givenchy said that classical never meant boring. And as Vogue once said clutter is not Givenchy’s thing. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

LVMH bought the fashion house in 1988. In 1995, Hubert Givenchy shows his last haute couture collection wearing his trademarked white lab coat. John Galliano was named his successor. In 1996, Alexander McQueen became creative director and tried to help the house keep up with the times. But the fashion house started going for a shock value.

Givenchy2In 2001, Julien Macdonald became creative director and Ozwald Boateng quickly took over for him just two years later. In 2005, Italian designer Riccardo Tisci was named director. It is said that the reason he was named director is because he didn’t make a single reference to Hepburn in his interviews. In 2008, the Paris flagship store opened and Tisci helped guide the house into the changing times. Tisci introduces more darkness to the collections, but keeps the same uncluttered silhouettes.

One thing that has never changed in all the years of Givenchy is the attention to details. This is why duchesses, icons and celebrities have chosen to wear Givenchy to events Givenchy4including the Oscars. Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman, Ivana Trump, Kate Winslet, Ciara and Jacqueline Kennedy have worn designs of this house. The first lady even chose this designer to wear to her husband’s funeral.

The House of Givenchy now has woman’s and men’s lines, accessories, perfume and a ready to wear line, Givenchy creations will always be classic and timeless just like the little black dress.

Thank God I Can Pronounce Nina Ricci

By Rachel Dean

Ricci1Described as a contemporary Coco Chanel, Maria “Nina” Nielli Ricci founded her fashion house Nina Ricci in 1932 with the help of her husband and son. She moved to Paris from Italy at the age of thirteen where the fashion bug bit her. Ricci was 49-years-old when she established her business and lacked a desire to acquire any major fame. Ricci wanted to “create very pretty, wearable clothes” and she had great success. Her immaculate tailoring and designs were adored by all.’s Nicole Phelps has dubbed Ricci’s label “as femme as it gets” and I’m inclined to agree. The brand consistently shows romantic and feminine garments that make you want to watch Titanic and dance through a garden of roses while singing Norah Jones.

Ricci3Although Ricci didn’t request fame, she got it regardless. By the fifties, Nina’s couture garments were in stores such as Bergdorf Goodman. In 1959, Jules-Francois Crahay took over as creative director of the fashion house. Staying true to Nina’s style, Crahay designed dreamy, flowing garments that The New York Times declared as “the epitome of the feminine.” Crahay left shortly after where he passed the torch to French designer Gerard Pipart, where he remained creative director for the next three decades. By 1998 the couture business had strayed away and it was up to designer Nathalie Gervais to revive the brand and concentrate on its ready-to-wear collections. Gervais didn’t last long and was replaced with Lars Nilsson to continue on with the ready-to-wear empire. Although Nilsson doubled fashion sales for Nina, he left the company in 2006 and the house brought on Oliver Theyskens.

The company not only had designers going in out and constantly, but they also picked ones that an uncultured American like myself couldn’t pronounce the names of. Oliver worked on accessories while he was there and tried changing things up with gothic styles in 2009, until finally they hired Peter Copping…a name I can pronounce; you can imagine my excitement. Peter still rocks the original, classic Nina Ricci look and his work is to die for. Some major celebrities that are dedicated Nina Ricci fans include the classy Reese Witherspoon, the iconic Nicole Kidman, the adorable Anne Hathaway, and the girl we all wonder how she even became famous, Kim Kardashian. Those names alone are a strong tell of the brand’s target market. Young, feminine women that could easily have a leading role in an 18th century love story. (Except for Kim, of course. I imagine she’ll be preparing for her role as Snooki in “Jersey Shore: The Movie) The newest face of Nina Ricci (or their perfume, more specifically) is 19-year-old model Frida Gustavs. Frida’s advertisements, as well as all other models for the company, follow suit with the brand’s image. Of course it has the Nina Ricci buzz word “feminine” and includes a lot of pink. But hey, what’s more feminine than pink?Ricci4

Works Cited

Phelps, N. (September 26, 2013) Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear Nina Ricci. Retrieved January 28, 2014 from

Nina Ricci. (2011) Voguepedia. Retrieved January 28, 2014 from

Nina Ricci. Fashionbase. Retrieved January 28, 2014 from

Interview with Frida Gustavsson (October 2012) Retrieved January 28, 2014 from

Being Biased Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

By Ashley Gross

Biased1In 1876 God brought all women the saving grace from the corset. Coco Chanel? Guess again. Now don’t think that I’m downgrading Chanel, but there was one woman before her. Her name was Madeleine Vionnet. She started off selling underwear until she divorced her husband, moved to London, and worked for a dressmaker. Finally, she opened her own design house in 1912. Already known for using draping and light, airy fabrics she continued to mesmerize women with her new technique: bias cut. Biased cut dresses were her signature invention. Although lifeless on hangers, these gowns awed women with how they transformed on their bodies. Biased2Vionnet was quoted saying, “A woman’s muscles are the best corset one could imagine.” Which reminds me that my abs workout starts today.

At the height of her fame women like Josephine Baker and Jean Harlow were donning Vionnet’s work when they were off the silver screen. Unfortunately, World War II caused Vionnet to close her doors and Madeleine died in 1975 without reopening. It took sixty years, a lot of Lycra, grunge look, until finally in 2006 Sophia Kokosalaki reopened the design house that’s all about natural female beauty. Although she may not have been truly dedicated to the venture, considering she left the next year to start her own line. From then on out Vionnet Biased3has seen a slew of head designers, five in fact.The next one after Sophia was Marc Audibet who only lasted for one season. Taking Vionnet’s history and launching the motifs into modern graphics and colors, Rodolfo Paglialunga brought the design house up to speed with the likes of Carey Mulligan and Madonna.

Fast forward to present day Vionnet where Goga Ashkenazi is attempting to make Vionnet the same as it was in its heyday, but not without some struggles. She comes in with strong business sense, graduating from Oxford University, but she is still new to the world of high Biased4fashion design. Her spring collection showed some light and airy fabrics, very Vionnet 1920s, but some of the garments were not at all functional for women. Would Madeleine Vionnet have created garments that hindered female lifestyle? I don’t really think so. Vionnet has had a rocky revitalization, with a long list of hard to pronounce designer names, but Goga’s vision and determination may be what it takes to bring Madeleine Vionnet’s inspirational design aesthetic into the fashion future. I can’t help but be a little “biased” hoping so.  


Forsey, N. (2013). Madeleine vionet reviving greek costume. Retrieved from (Grecian style gown)

Laguige, M. (Photographer). Vionnet spring 2014 ready-to-wear collection look 9 [Print Photo].

Retrieved from of dark blue and white dress)

Madeleine vionnet. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Obaldia, D. Bringing haute couture to america. American Center France. Retrieved from (Photo of cream colored 1920s dress)

Phelps, N. (2013). Vionnet spring 2014 ready-to-wear collection. Retrieved from

Sandra. (Photographer). Vionnet fall 2007 ready-to-wear collection look 5 [Web Photo].

Retrieved from (Photo of black dress)

Vionnet. In Voguepedia. Retrieved from

Rocking the Classic Oxford Button-Down Shirt

By Courtney Carlson

Courntey3Picture your closet. Now look in your closet and find the MOST universal and versatile garment in there. Once you look past your t-shirts and jeans, you’ll probably find a classic oxford button-down shirt. And if you don’t, it might be time to go shopping.

If there is one article of clothing that is considered universal, the Oxford shirt is it. Casual enough for class yet dressy enough for a night out, both men and women of all ages LOVE this shirt. The aptly named oxford fabric is originally from Scottish fabric mills back in the 19th century and is so great that we still use it almost exactly as it was then. Obviously there are some synthetics out there now, but let’s be real, the classic cotton oxford is the best. The style is almost identical to the original, with a button-down front and aptly named oxford collar.

Courtney4The thing that makes the Oxford different from any other button-down shirt is the weave. This super specific basket weave includes one thicker yarn going the opposite direction than two smaller yarns woven together. This special basket weave is obvious to the eye and easy distinguishable to even the average shopper.

Oxfords were popularized in the 20th century in England…surprise, right? While the fabric had already been named when it was made, the style of shirt became popular for polo players because it was breathable and easy to move around in. That’s when the shirt started catching on as part of the “preppy” look, where it continues to thrive. So you can all thank the polo players for your comfy shirt next time you hop across the pond!Courtney1

Clearly, oxfords caught on in the good old USA. They’ve become classics that work in almost any environment and they are totally timeless, so you never have to worry about suddenly being out of style. Nothing is better than effortless style, right?

The big evolution of this product has been the transformation of use. Oxfords were originally for polo players, then made the move to social wear slowly after. The function and style of the shirt has remained almost exactly as it originally was, but they were not originally intended for women. Obviously, modern women love rocking an oxford shirt with their skinny jeans and flats.  Ladies didn’t take long to adopt the oxford shirt, they caught on very Courtney2soon after its major adoption.

Oxfords are all over the big (and small) screens. I started compiling a list, but quickly realized that it would probably break my keyboard to type out every film an oxford button-down is featured in.  Celebrities rock oxfords all the time…it’s practically their uniform for casual days. Rihanna and Taylor Swift were at the top of the list on oxford shirt looks, and Tom Cruise is even featured rocking one of these classics on the red carpet for a movie premiere! Clearly, oxford button-downs have made it to the big time.